“In a cluttered world with hundreds of choices, … if the right remake or spinoff comes along … there’s no reason not to pick it up as you already have the awareness and it makes the launch and marketing easier.”
That’s what NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said at the network upfronts this year, seemingly speaking for her counterparts at the other big networks (ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW). It doesn’t so much matter that the recent TV adaptations of Rush Hour and The Muppets didn’t make it to a second season (with Limitless unofficially canceled and currently searching for a new home). Familiar is still king because it presents less risk.
So, old TV shows are new again (CBS’ MacGyver, Fox’s 24: Legacy and Prison Break) and spin-offs are encouraged (NBC’s The Blacklist and Chicago P.D. offshoots as well as CBS All Access’ Good Wife spin-off). Feature films with some theoretical name recognition will be broadcast shows nest season (Frequency, Taken, Training Day, The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon) as will book (Still Star-Crossed, Time After Time, Midnight, Texas) and comic book (Riverdale) adaptations.
Funny or Die decided to mock the pomp and circumstance of the networks bragging about all of their new shows when many of them stretch the definition of “new.” At the very least, the video makes for an amusing run-down of all the remakes/revivals/adaptations on broadcast TV right now: